Mincemeat cupcakes

Mincemeat cupcakes

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

My mum makes a mincemeat cake every year without fail. I’m not sure where she got her recipe, but she has perfected it over the years, and now I’m going to stick it in a book. It is delicious and makes the week after New Year something to look forward to (in cake terms, anyway), as all the mincemeat is half-price. I’ve played around with it to make really light cupcakes with brandy butter cream. I’m not really a cupcake person, but I think these are the best I’ve tasted. If you’ve still got the Christmas bug in January – or if you find mince pies a bit heavy – make these and I promise you’ll agree! This is a level 2 recipe because – though the cakes are pretty simple – piping buttercream is a skill to master.


Quantity Ingredient

For the cupcakes

Quantity Ingredient
60g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
125ml whole milk
410g mincemeat, (about 1 regular jar)
200g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder

For the buttercream

Quantity Ingredient
150g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar
2 tablespoons brandy

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
electric whisk
12 large cupcake or muffin cases
12-hole muffin tin
wire cooling rack
piping bag
large star-tipped nozzle


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light coloured and smooth. Thoroughly beat in the egg, then stir in the milk; the mixture will split here, but don’t worry – it will come back when you put the flour in. Stir in the mincemeat to get a really sloppy-looking mixture.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together and fold into the batter. This will make quite a wet mixture, but trust me, it’ll turn out fine!
  4. Place the cases in a muffin tin and load each with 2 heaped tablespoons of batter; this should use it all up. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when stuck in the centre of a cake.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the oven, take the cakes out of the muffin tin and set on a wire rack to cool. They must be fully cooled before the buttercream can go on, or it will melt.
  6. Make the buttercream by beating the butter, icing sugar and brandy in a bowl with the electric whisk until fully combined and creamy.
  7. Load the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large star-tipped nozzle, but do not put it in the fridge if you’re not piping the cupcakes straight away or it will stiffen up too much to pipe. Pipe swirls of buttercream on to each cake: start on the outside and spiral your way in, leaving a point in the middle. Eat!


  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.


  • One of the things I love most about this recipe is the rich, fruity taste you get for relatively little effort. Feel free to make your own mincemeat and incorporate it into this cake, but I secretly enjoy the thrill of picking up mincemeat cheap in January and making something really delicious out of it. You can make this into a big cake, too, if you put the batter in a lined, buttered 23 cm tin and bake for 30–40 minutes; my mum likes to sprinkle flaked almonds on it before baking, which tastes great. As long as you check with a cocktail stick that it’s done, you’ll turn out delicious cakes every time.
Great British Bake Off
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